Taking Potassium - Fairview Health Services
 
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Taking Potassium

Your potassium supplement helps replace potassium your body has lost. This loss may be because of a medicine you take, such as a diuretic (water pill). Or it may be because of a medical condition you have.

Man putting pill in mouth, holding glass of water.

The reason I’m taking potassium is:

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Medication Tips

  • Read the fact sheet that comes with your medication. It tells you when and how to take it. Ask for a medication fact sheet if you don’t get one.

  • Always take your potassium along with food.

  • If you take a long-acting tablet or capsule, swallow it with a full glass of water or juice. Do not crush or chew it unless you’re told it’s okay to do so.

  • If you take potassium as granules, powder, fizzing tablets, or liquid, you must dilute it in at least 1 cup (8 oz) of cold water or juice. Wait for fizzing to stop before drinking the liquid. Then, sip slowly.

  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember— unless it’s almost time for (a few hours before) your next dose. If so, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.

 

For Your Safety

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of foods that contain potassium. Talk to your doctor before changing the amounts of foods you eat that are high in potassium.

  • Do not use salt substitutes or eat foods labeled low-sodium unless your doctor says it’s okay. Many contain extra potassium.

  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines. This includes vitamin/mineral supplements and herbal remedies.

  • Be sure to refill your prescription before you run out. 

  • Do not share your medicine with anyone.

  • Check your blood pressure regularly as directed by your doctor.

 

 

 

 

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following:

  • Allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, or swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • Black, tarry stools

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet

  • Pain when swallowing

  • Unusual weakness or tiredness

The following side effects should go away within 2 weeks and do not need medical attention. Call your doctor if they continue or are bothersome:

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

  • Stomach gas

  • Occasional vomiting

 

 

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